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Bruce Nilles' Posts

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Demand No More Coal, No More Oil This Independence Day

No surprise here, on the heels of President Obama's Tuesday night speech, the coal industry front group -- American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity -- released a statement saying they agree with his call for a clean energy future: "The president also renewed his call for bolder action to create a clean energy future. We share the President's commitment, and recognize the steps we take as a nation must balance America's environmental, economic, and energy goals." As we said in a post a few weeks ago, the coal industry is working harder to convince you that to address our oil …

Read more: Climate & Energy

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Call Your Senators Now to Stop Big Coal, Big Oil in Murkowski Vote

Today will see a major vote in the U.S. Senate - one that could hugely benefit Big Oil and Big Coal if it passes. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) will introduce her disapproval resolution that would block the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from taking action to limit global warming pollution - even from the biggest polluters like coal plants and oil refineries. This resolution has been waiting for a vote for a while - I even wrote about back in March. But we still need your help in stopping it! Senator Murkowski's amendment would block EPA from implementing existing and new …

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Ohio Coal Plant Linked to $30m in Annual Economic Damage

This post was co-written by Nachy Kanfer, Associate Field Organizer for the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal Campaign in Ohio. We regularly dispute Big Coal when they say coal is not bad for the environment - now we have another example of how this dirty, outdated power source is costing jobs and damaging the economy in one state. The Sierra Club just co-released a report showing that the Bay Shore coal-fired power plant in Oregon, Ohio, causes nearly $30 million in damages to the state's economy every year. The report, produced by Genter Consulting and co-released by the Western Lake Erie …

Read more: Climate & Energy

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Coal: Good News, and An Opportunity for More

I've got two good news pieces this week - and one issue that needs your help. Last week our Michigan Chapter and everyone who loves clean air and clean energy got some great news when the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the Environment (MDNRE) denied a permit for the proposed Wolverine coal-fired power plant.We're cheering the news - the DNRE decision states there is no need for the proposed power plant, in Rogers City, Michigan, and that alternative methods are available that would supply the customers of the four electric cooperatives that make up Wolverine with electricity at a …

Read more: Climate & Energy

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Exposing the Financers of Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining

This post was co-written by Mark Kresowik, Corporate Accountability and Finance Representative for the Sierra Club. The idea of corporate responsibility has come up repeatedly in recent weeks following the coal mine and oil disasters. That responsibility extends beyond profits to the health and well-being of our communities. By continuing to finance mountaintop removal coal mining these banks are throwing that responsibility aside. Many of us talk about the harm that coal companies are doing to people and the environment with mountaintop removal coal mining, but the blame is not just at Big Coal's doorstep. It takes billions of dollars …

Read more: Climate & Energy

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Oil Disaster Doesn't Mean We Should Switch to Other Dirty Fuels

This post was co-written by Kate Colarulli of the Sierra Club Dirty Fuels Campaign. As we've watched the Gulf Coast clean up from the massive BP oil disaster, besides BP picking up its own PR mission to improve its image, we've also noticed another disturbing PR campaign: the coal industry and the tar sands industry are both starting to use this disaster to tout the supposed "cleanliness" of their respective energy sources. There are more and more "clean" coal ads appearing alongside oil cleanup articles, and the tar sands (also known as oil sands) industry has already made the outrageous …

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UNC Decides to Move Beyond Coal; Plus Bonus Coal Ash News

Great news out of Chapel Hill, North Carolina: Today the University of North Carolina (UNC) announced that burning coal has no place in our clean energy future and is transitioning away from using pollution-rich coal power to power this nationally-ranked university. I attended the press with UNC Chancellor Holden Thorp as he outlined how they were going to start testing alternative fuels and phasing in alternatives as fast as possible, and end coal use altogether no later than 2020.  I was also joined at the press conference by Stewart Boss, one of the student leaders of the Coal-Free UNC Campaign. …

Read more: Climate & Energy

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Great Coal Debate had some false information

Peabody Energy exec misleads during coal debate

Last night I debated the role of coal in our country's energy future with Peabody Energy VP of Government Relations Fred Palmer on the campus of Washington University in St. Louis. The debate took place in front of more than 500 students and community members at Graham Chapel on campus, and was watched live online by nearly 4,700 additional interested observers. Here are four minutes of highlights: If you want to watch the full debate, click here. The debate was a great conversation about the dangers presented by coal and there was frank dialogue between Mr. Palmer and I about …

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Earth Day: Profiling Coal's Eco Heroes

As we remember the first Earth Day happening 40 years ago, it's also worth spending some time today thinking about our eco heroes, too. I thought I'd spend my post today talking about two fantastic women who are hard-working green heroes in the coal movement. Susan Holmes is behind the group Bokoshe Environmental Cause Group, or "BE Cause," a small but mighty environmental action group in Bokoshe, Oklahoma. She came together with some fellow residents when the nearby Shady Point I coal-fired power plant and coal fly ash dump proposed adding a second dump site. According to BE Cause, building …

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Tar Sands Pipeline Environmental Review is Flawed

Since our Beyond Coal Campaign is also committed to fighting dirty fuels such as liquid coal, we're just as committed to stopping the latest dirty fuel threat: tar sands. Tar sands is a thick, black dirt derived from the soil under the great forests of Canada, which energy companies are turning it into oil - and now there's a push for the U.S. to import it. Late last Friday saw the Department of State released its Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for a massive pipeline designed to carry tar sands oil from Canada into the U.S. We've had a chance …